Is this a typical scenario?
After outpacing the 9-5 grind with your burning passion for entrepreneurship, and keen knowledge regarding ecommerce and logistics, you decide to board the appreneurship – and with good reason.
Since your niche market is crawling on the internet with the help of their Androids and iPhones, you decide to jump on the bandwagon and work on an app that will blow their minds away. But will it?
You hire a mobile app developer who sadly cannot understand your ‘fresh outtake’ in the world. You fail to research your demographics and make your buyer personas despite the success of your brand within your targeted market.
To top it all, you fail to address their queries and issues, giving your most loyal customers a reason to take their business elsewhere.
We understand you want to develop a mobile app for your startup so that you can come to terms with millennial and Gen Z users. But, passion only cannot help you strive towards success, especially in an industry that’s coming close to saturation with its hurdled competition.
Whether or not you’re a tech junkie, your head is practically swimming with thoughts that might either aid in your app innovation or completely deter it.
To make things a bit easier for you, I have mentioned 6 questions that I believe entrepreneurs need to ask themselves before they head towards mobile app development.
Question #1 – Do You Have an Objective in Mind for Building This App?
Being an avid entrepreneur, you should know that there is plenty of room for trial and error, including risks. But, if you plan on making decisions arbitrarily just because your competition is doing successfully, then maybe you need to tweak your vision a little bit.
As an entrepreneur, you have to define your aims and objectives throughout your journey. You have to realize that you’re making a life-long commitment with your business objectives instead of heading towards a destination that doesn’t carry a map or isn’t merely planned out.
For starters, ask yourself whether you have an objective for investing in or building an app for your startup or not. Sure, there are around 2.7 billion people who use smartphones in the world, but are you sure you have what it takes to bring your niche industry to focus?
See, to build an app, you have to rule out whether it’s fortune or fame, or perhaps both in the first place.
Secondly, why should people trust your app? People download an app (or any other software) mainly because they see it as a solution to their problems.
- People are bored. They download game apps to play and kill their time while on the go instead of lugging their PlayStation around.
- Office goers are tired of not getting any fitness. They download fitness apps to make sure they can get a bit of cardio or yoga at home.
- People are stressed out and anxious. They download meditation apps to help them cope with stressful situations.
- People want to connect with their friends and colleagues on the go. They download social connectivity apps so that they can network while they’re on the go.
See, the primary phrase used here is ‘on-the-go.’ You have to develop an app that provides solutions to your niche market in a way that no other app does. Your app should provide your niche market with solutions so that they can download it for their accessibility.
Question #2: Do You Even Have a Niche Market?
The world of the internet is currently saturated with millennial, Gen Z users, and Baby Boomers.
Just because the average American cannot stay away from checking their phones beyond 12 minutes or even lesser, 90% of which is focused on apps, doesn’t mean that your niche market does too.
Just because your website has shown success in the industry doesn’t precisely imply that your app will too. What should your next step be?
Analyze your competitors and their niche market but with a high focus on their apps. Once you analyze their market industry, you’ll understand which groups of your community download such niche-relevant apps.
Create your buyer personas after researching and running a thorough competitor analysis of these applications. This will help you conclude whether you have an established niche market or not and if you should design an app for helping the concerned people.
Also, you have to realize that building an app is not a one-size-fits-all kind of an idea. You need to have a team of stakeholders, co-founders, and investors who share the same verdict.
You will have to explain your competitor analysis to each one of them and stick by your idea until you make it a reality. There is a possibility that your team might not resonate with your idea the way you do.
Since you will have the competitor’s analysis, you can prove how you can design an app that’s not only better than your competitors’ but will also guarantee positive results.
Question #3 – Do You Have the Investment Required for Building Your App?
Entrepreneurs believe that risking and losing money in the start is the only way to cut through a solid deal, but whose money is it, anyway?
If you’re investing your money in an app, you have to realize that there is absolutely no short-cut in the long-haul. Building an app requires money – more than good looks (read: graphics) alone – and not only in the start but also throughout its journey.
First, you have to invest in your mobile app idea so that you can build it on the required platforms. Then, you’ll be required to launch and produce it, which will also guarantee a hole in your pocket.
Once launched, you’d have to invest in regular updates and fix bugs when required. You will also be required to hire a customer service team that’s readily available for answering queries and handling social media accounts online.
All in all, your total investment might cross the absolute benchmark of six figures – and you’d never know when to pause or stop because the market is volatile and forgetful at its most. Even after spending six figures, nobody can assure whether you have a million-dollar idea or one that rots at the back of your garage.
However, I don’t want to demotivate you. Your idea might have merit, but in the tech industry, brilliant marketing strategies matter more than big ideas.
You have to consider your entire budget, including the overhead costs, if you’re planning on hiring freelance developers for building your app. Have your accounts team draft a sample monetary exhibit so that you can get investors on board and keep on rolling.
Once you’ve gotten your idea approved, decide precisely how you plan on paying for its future reimbursements. You have to come up with a protective contingency sort of plan for security.
Since you’d have to hire a marketing team to promote your app, you can, in turn, earn from every click that’s posted in response to your ads.
Question #4 – Do You Know How to Protect Your App Idea?
Even if you’re unsure about your app’s idea, someone can steal your idea and hire a better marketing agency after building it for its avid promotion.
You had just gotten your idea approved, and it’s already in the market? How did this happen? Freelance developers can leak the idea unintentionally by merely conversing with a potential client or telling their developer friends about their big streak.
To protect your brilliant app idea from getting declared a major no-show, consider having everyone in your team sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Make sure you draft your Non-Disclosure Agreement after meeting with an attorney so that they can add legal clauses with penalties in case anyone from the team decides to breach their word.
Signing an NDA is never easy, especially when you have to convince stakeholders and developers about your idea. Even if they like the thought of working with you, they might deter it due to the presence of an NDA. To make matters comparatively easier, you can just lay out necessary, non-proprietary information before the stakeholders.
If they find it impressive, you can ask them to sign the NDA to get on board with the competitor’s analysis, detailed accounting reports, and other precise information such as a tentative deadline and on-board discussions.
A reputed app development company might understand the importance and requirement for filing an NDA. Consider hiring professionals and like-minded individuals who wouldn’t protest against signing an NDA.
However, everyone doesn’t need to go along with your clauses, so make them negotiable for the betterment of the brand and app.
Question #5 – Which Platform are You Considering for Building Your App?
Forget Blackberry or Microsoft – you’re dealing with two giant platforms today, and it is well-established that these two are always on the outs aiding to immense competition.
You can use this platform or the classist war to your benefit and launch your app on both of them to target all of your customers.
But before you do, conclude where your party hangs out by studying user demographics in the beginning.
For instance, if a majority of your niche market uses Android smartphones, then launch your new app specifically on Android OS. Also, it is not a hidden fact that iPhone OS generate far higher revenue as compared to the ROI collected through Android OS.
However, if only a fraction of your buyer personas use iOS, then it’s not beneficial to invest in promotional gimmicks and launch your app on the platform as you will eventually lose significant dividends in the long run.
You can launch your app on a platform for a limited time as well to gauge the response or run a pre-launch campaign to assess and quantify the attention and revenue generated from both the major operating systems.
Question #6 – Do You Know How to Prevent Your App From Failing in The Market?
We probably hit a hundred nerves with this question because let’s face it – it’s all fun and games once you launch your business idea before the public. No number of reports or simulation results can help you gauge the actual response once your idea is in public. The same goes for appreneurship.
First of all, to prevent your app from failing in the niche market, you have to present yourself as a brand that is ready to take measures for protecting user data with high security and privacy.
While it’s up to you to ask what information you want from your users, you have to make sure you protect the data without breaching security.
Also, if your app involves in-app purchases, then it’s already on the vulnerability list in the market. External parties can hack your app, or worse, and any internal party can make use of the highly sensitive data.
You also have to assure that there will be no sharing of passwords, video or image content, or any other confidential information such as credit card details on your website or other public domains.
Decide how your users engage with the customer support of your app – analytics and marketing alone cannot help you succeed, but adequate customer care definitely will.
Always remember – to accomplish ahead of the competition, you have to take a holistic approach and protect the rights of your customers.
In this process, you’re not only liable to protect their information and data, but also respond to their concerns and queries accordingly.
Once you’re ready to dive head-first and face these concerns, you’re not only prepared to invest in and build an app but also thinking and acting like an entrepreneur.
Just a tip – be ready for the worst, such as failure of your app in this scenario – but don’t make it your weakness. Consider it as a strength so that you can combat it proactively.